Monday, July 27, 2015

Healthy Dark Chocolate Fudgesicles

Our summers here are hot, sweaty and sticky.  Yuck!  That's one thing this California raised girl dislikes most about the mid-west -- humidity!  I depend heavily on cool treats to help me get through the hot summers.  These dark chocolate fudgesicles have become one of my favorites.  We make a lot of homemade popsicles and I've found a lot of them turn out icy.  The secret ingredient to keeping these popsicles smooth and soft is gelatin!  It's amazing the difference a little gelatin can make.  Go ahead and give these a try.  I just know you'll the the rich chocolaty flavor and the smooth creamy texture.

Dark Chocolate Fudgesicles
(adapted from this recipe)

1 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
2 egg yolk
1/2 cup honey
dash of Real Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (I use this kind)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

1. Soften the gelatin by placing it in a small bowl with the vanilla.

2. Warm the coconut milk in a pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stir occasionally and do not let boil.  Meanwhile mix the egg yolk, honey, and salt in a small bowl.  Slowly poor the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, mixing continuously to temper the eggs.

3. Pour the mixture back into the pot and continue to cook on medium heat for about five minutes, stirring constantly.  Do not allow the mixture to boil.

4.  Pour the gelatin mixture into the pot and whisk vigorously until the gelatin has dissolved, about two minutes.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until melted and smooth.  Let pudding cool at room temperature about 20 minutes and then pour into molds.  Place in freezer for up to six hours or until firm.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Stick People

I was recently working on some different projects in my guest room/craft room when in wandered my youngest son who is 3 1/2.  As we chatted I realized that it had been an awful long time since I'd done a craft with him.  This year has been non-stop and with kindergarten pick-up midday and a new baby in the house which just hadn't left a lot of time (or energy) for fun stuff.  I began to feel a little sad that the two of us hadn't done as many crafts as I did with his older brothers.  So right then and there I opened up a drawer with all sorts of craft supplies and we began.  No planning or prep.  Nothing thought of in advance.  We just started pulling out supplies and came up with something on the spot.  We had a great time!

We ended up making some little stick puppets.  We used popsicle sticks, googly eyes, tissue paper, construction paper, pipe cleaners, yarn, markers, and a little organza bag!  

My son was so proud of these little puppets.  He showed them to anyone who would look and listen to him. I guess what I learned is that you don't need a grand idea or even a ton of awesome supplies--just start creating and let your imagination run wild!  Your children will thank you!

Monday, June 29, 2015

General Conference Quote Board

I've written several posts in the past about engaging your children during General Conference and preparing them beforehand.  About a month ago a friend of mine, Kensie of Kensie M Photography, shared a way that she keeps the messages from conference hanging around the house--literally.  

Honestly, this one of the quicker projects I've done in a while!    First, I gathered a good collection of quotes from this past General Conference and pinned them.  You can find them all on my Conference Board on Pinterest.  Next, I saved them and cropped them to be 6 x 8.  (My frame was 36 x 24 so this allowed me to have 18 total quotes in my frame.)  After printing them on cardstock I arranged them--and then rearranged a few times--until I was satisfied.  I then flipped the quotes over into the frame and taped them together with masking tape.  

I've seen my boys reading them as they head downstairs and it makes my heart happy to know that they are continuing to internalize the wonderful messages we have been taught.  I love to have a visual reminder of those words hanging in my home. 

And just for you I'm sharing a printable I created with one of my favorite quotes.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Eraser Stamped Patriotic Shirts (Using Dollar Store Tees)

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that my book Quiet Book Patterns is on sale right now through Amazon for only $7.90!  This is the lowest price I've seen it selling for!  Now's a great time to grab a copy and buy one to give away as a gift too!  Purchase your copy here.
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The Fourth of July is one of my very favorite holiday's.  I love the parades, and the red, white, and blue, and the patriotic music, and the food and fireworks, and spending time with family.  This is a land that I love!

A few weeks when I was shopping I noticed the patriotic shirts on display.  As I was browsing through them I remembered that I had spied some t-shirts at the dollar store and thought it would be fun for my kids and I to make our own patriotic shirts for the fourth of July.  I mean for $1 why not?  Here is what we came up with inspired by this shirt that I saw at Target:

I love how they turned out and they were so simple to make.

First things first--I washed my shirts.  This is always a good idea so they can preshrink.  It also washes away any chemicals on the fabric from manufacturing which may prevent the paint from being permanent.  I still can't believe I snagged these tees at Dollar Tree! You really can't beat the prince for a fun craft project.  I was lucky to find one in each of my kids sizes and they even had some in my daughters size in a girl cut.  

To start out I traced and cut out a star from freezer paper.

I then placed the shinny side of the star onto the fabric and ironed it on using a medium setting.  Be sure to focus on the edges and points of the star.  Iron for about 30 seconds to a minute.  The first time I used freezer paper for a project I applied a lot of heat and and lot of pressure and I couldn't get the freezer paper to come off of my fabric when I was done. I ruined my project.  Less is more here, but at the same time you want to make sure the paper is completely ironed on so no paint seeps under.

I then mixed in some textile medium to my red and blue paint and used a new pencil eraser to stamp.  Be sure to place cardboard, wax paper, or freezer paper inside your shirt before you start stamping so the paint doesn't soak through to the back.

You really can't go wrong with the design.  I concentrated the dots more around the star and then spaced them out as I got further away from it.

Once the paint drys you can peel away the freezer paper and your shirt is done!

This project is very kid friendly.  My children had a blast making their very own fourth of July shirts.  Now they're busy making a bunch of red, white, and blue rainbow loom bracelets so once July fourth rolls around they'll have plenty of patriotic things to wear.

Cute kids.  Cute made-by-them shirts.

Since these dollar store shirts where such an incredible deal we grabbed a few more is different colors too.  Stay tuned to see what we made with those!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Main Squeeze + A Giveaway! ****Giveaway Closed****

A friend was recently telling me about these handy little contraptions that are perfect for squeezing out every last drop of anything that comes in a tube--and because I'm a penny pincher I love them.  If you're a penny pincher you'll love them too. They're called Main Squeeze and I have fallen in love with them.  So have my kids.

The frugal side of me works hard to get every last drop out of my tubes and bottles and that is why I am thrilled with these little lovelies.  They are perfect for items in the bathroom like toothpaste, make-up, diaper rash cream, lotion, sunscreen or medicines.  They also come in handy in the kitchen for things like frosting or piping bags, and even work wonderfully for crafty things like paint or glue.

You simply slip them on the top of your tubes and they squeeze everything right down to the bottom.  My nine year old thinks they're just about the greatest thing ever since it prevents her three year old brother from making a squishy mess of the toothpaste tube.

I have to say I was really surprised how well it "smooshed" everything in my tubes down to the bottom and then how well it holds it's place without wiggling or moving around.  This Main Squeeze is really secure and works just how I had hoped!  Pretty cool, huh?

If you're wondering where to buy these beauties you can find them HERE.  And because I'm so thrilled with how well these work I want to share the love! I'm giving away one package of Main Squeezes to one lucky reader.  To enter to win simply leave a comment below telling me one thing you do to be frugal . . . and that's it.  Giveaway ends June 9, 2015 11:59 PDT.

And the winner is . . .

True Random Number Generator  2Powered by RANDOM.ORG


Congratulations Bonnie on winning a package of Main Squeeze!  I know you'll love them as much as me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Abolitionist Mom Auction

This week I'm helping to support an online silent auction to raise money for Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.).  It is a non-profit organization that goes undercover around the world to rescue child victims from sex slavery.  I think we can all agree that this is a cause worth supporting.

Take a minute to visit Kiki and Company and view the items up for auction and to place a bid.  100% of the profits go to O.U.R.

To learn more about O.U.R. go HERE.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Simple Baby Shower Cards

A few months ago the ladies at my church did a service project by putting together some newborn packets (clothes and blankets) to give to new moms in the hospital who have very little.  It broke my heart to hear that some moms have so little that they have to bring their babies home in brown paper.  I was asked to put together some cards to go along with the gifts.  It felt good to contribute to such a good cause.

If you've been handing around my blog for a while you'll know by now that I love simple--and that's just what these cards are.  Simple.  But Sweet.

I used my two inch scalloped punch on some cute scrapbook paper to create the bassinet by cutting out a quarter of the circle adding some button wheels at the bottom and a curvy little handle with a pencil.

A simple congratulations at the bottom finished the cards off along with a thoughtful note inside.

These cards were easy to mass produce and didn't take me to long to finish at all. Hopefully they helped some new moms feel loved and supported in one of the most important jobs on earth!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Baby Shower Printable

A friend of mine is expecting a little baby boy any day now.  I threw her a little shower last month to help celebrate her upcoming arrival.

I kept the decorations fairly simple sticking to a blue and white color scheme.  I decorated with a pennant banner, lots of balloons and this printable to help personalize the decor a little.  I just love pastel blue to celebrate baby boys.  There's just something so sweet and cozy about that color.

After creating my printable I stuck it in this frame from Ikea.  These frames cost only $1 and I love their unique shape.

 I just have to mention that these balloon sticks have been one of the best purchases I've ever made.  They come in handy for everything and make it so easy to decorate for birthdays or parties.  I got a pack of 144 and they are going to last me forever.  When I bought them I wasn't thinking that I could reuse the sticks when I was done with them so I think I'm set with balloon sticks for just about the rest of my life.  I picked up these glass vases at the dollar store filled them with tissue paper and stuck three 9" balloons in each one and placed them on a large paper dollie--my favorite touch.  Simple, inexpensive, big impact.

Here I used the balloon sticks again, this time in a larger vase, to create a bigger "bouquet".  I love how it turned out.

Feel free to use my printable for yourself  . . . or a friend.